I consider the Sport True Wireless the first genuine truly wireless sports headphones I’ve tried from Sennheiser. While the CX Plus True Wireless buds were suitable for sports if you could keep them in your ears while exercising, I found them too bulky and loose. There are no such problems with the Sport True Wireless and they immediately became a contender for CoachS best gym headphones.
They deliver in the main ways you’d hope for: they sound excellent, especially given the price, and the wings provide a secure fit that’s pretty comfortable during extended use. However, the buds don’t offer ANC, and the “adaptable acoustics” feature – where different ear tip designs allow for either more awareness or more passive noise cancellation – didn’t really make a difference in the real world.
Sennheiser Sport True Wireless Review: Price And Availability
The Sennheiser Sport True Wireless were announced publicly on 20th April and can be ordered ahead of the official on-sale date of 3rd May. They cost £ 119.99, which is the same price as Sennheiser’s CX True Wireless buds and £ 10 less than the CX Plus True Wireless buds, with the latter having ANC. That price puts them up against the Jabra Elite 4 Active budswhich I consider the best running headphones going, so the Sport True Wireless have their work cut out.
The Sport True Wireless buds are chunky. They weigh 7g apiece and are slightly larger than the CX Plus True Wireless headphones, which are hardly small themselves. Sennheiser has made use of the space by putting in its 7mm TrueResponse transducer to deliver powerful, clear sound.
To ensure they stay in place during exercise, Sennheiser includes four sets of wings, and there are also two sets of in-ear tips in three sizes. The ear tips are designed for different situations: the closed-ear adapters are suitable for the gym or anywhere you want to block out external noise, while the open-ear ones are better for outdoor exercise when you want more awareness of what’s around you.
Although it’s a bit fiddly to keep swapping ear tips, and a faff to find somewhere to safely store the pair that isn’t currently in use, this sounded like a clever solution to the common problem of trying to balance awareness and sound quality during exercise. .
The open-ear tips have a blue ring inside and an open tip, and are firmer when you squeeze them. The closed-ear tips have a silicone cross through the middle and are softer. Once you’ve selected your tip you can choose either “Focus” or “Aware” mode in the partner app, which will customize the EQ in line with the tips you are using.
I tried both tips in a variety of situations and my initial excitement quickly wore off. You get slightly more awareness with the open tips, but I didn’t feel any more comfortable using them while listening to music when cycling on the road or running than I did wearing the closed tips. You can hear traffic a little more clearly, but you can get far more awareness simply by taking one bud out. They just don’t compare to in-ear buds with transparency modes which let in more external noise.
Sennheiser claims the open tips will reduce sounds like the pounding of your feet while running, and the buds were noticeably good on this front in Aware mode. You still hear your feet landing, but the noise comes more from outside rather than the internal thump you get with many in-ear buds.
There is no transparency or ANC mode on the headphones either, so you can’t increase awareness or block out more sound as you can with rivals like the Jabra Elite 4 Active.
Each bud has a touch panel on the outside and you can customize four controls on each side – one, two or three taps, or hold. You can control the volume, activate your phone’s smart assistant and turn the buds off using the panel, as well as the usual play / pause and skip. The controls were pretty easy to use on the move, though I often set off the one-touch play / pause control by accident when taking the buds in and out. You can also turn off the controls if this becomes an annoyance.
The buds have an IP54 rating, which means they aren’t fully waterproof but will resist splashes, sweat and rain. Like the buds it contains, the case is fairly chunky, but it does have a handy plastic loop on one end that you can use to clip it into running belts or onto rucksacks.
Even with the array of wings provided I was a little skeptical that the Sport True Wireless buds would stay in place during exercise given their size and heft. However, those fears were misplaced. They have a very reliable fit once you find the right wing for your ears, and I didn’t experience any looseness during several runs, a couple of cycles, a strength workout and a yoga session.
They are fairly comfortable to wear for extended use too, though after a couple of hours I did start to feel some unwelcome pressure around where the wing sits in the ear. If you are going to wear them for the duration of the nine-hour battery life I’d take the wings off when you weren’t exercising.
The sound you get from the Sport True Wireless headphones changes drastically depending on whether you choose the Focus or Aware mode. Focus produces a clear, natural sound profile with brighter higher ranges, while Aware has a fuller sound with punchier bass.
I tended to use Focus in quieter environments, especially with pop or alternative songs where the vocals could be overwhelmed by the bass-forward Aware mode, then switch to Aware mode when I wanted a motivational push during workouts, or when listening to rock music.
You can also change the EQ yourself or use other presets which complement music genres, but in general I found that leaving these settings alone produced the best sound profile. There is also a sound check you can use for a customized EQ, which for me produced the exact settings the buds came with.
Overall I love the sound on the Sport True Wireless, and the addition of the bassy Aware mode makes for a welcome alternative to the bright and clear standard sound profile. It’s handy being able to jack up the bass by switching profiles, though it would be even handier to do so using the controls on the headphones – as it is you have to do it in the app.
The Sport True Wireless headphones last nine hours on a charge, and there are a further 18 hours in the case. Nine hours is impressive and up there with the best you’ll find on truly wireless buds, no doubt helped by the larger size of the Sennheiser headphones.
Are The Sennheiser Sport True Wireless Headphones Worth It?
I rate the Sport True Wireless as a qualified success. They deliver Sennheiser’s sound quality in a sporty package, with a reliable fit and a high enough IP rating that you don’t need to worry about getting them wet or sweaty. They are the best-sounding sports headphones you can get for £ 120, and really only sets that cost near or over £ 200 match or outdo them.
However, the lack of ANC or a true awareness mode counts against them, and they are also larger and less comfortable than other truly wireless sports buds including the Jabra Elite 4 Active at the same price. The all-round package of the Jabra buds is better, but the fit is more secure and the sound is better on the Sennheisers.